Woman with hearing loss doing dishes because she forgot to turn the dishwasher on.

Chris has been slightly forgetful lately. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Lately she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be hard to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. Your hearing is the real problem. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to significantly improve your memory.

How to Improve Your General Cognitive Function And Memory

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, and getting everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your eye exam, is to have your hearing checked. A standard hearing assessment will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment might be.

Chris hasn’t noticed any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have an issue hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a difficult time listening to any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t recognizable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. In fact, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And strain on the brain is the base cause. Here’s how it works:

  • Your hearing begins to fade, maybe so slowly you don’t realize.
  • However slight, your ears begin to detect a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain begins working a little bit harder to translate and boost the sounds you are able to hear.
  • You can’t detect any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work overtime.

That type of constant strain can be really difficult on your brain’s limited resources. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, remains rather unknown. Still, there is a higher danger of cognitive decline with people who have untreated hearing loss, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) turn into more severe concerns.

Keeping Fatigue at Bay Using Hearing Aids

This is why it’s worthwhile to deal with your hearing loss. Marked improvement of cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

A variety of other studies have demonstrated similar results. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have numerous intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This form of memory loss is mostly because of mental exhaustion and is usually not permanent. But if the fundamental issues are not dealt with, that can change.

Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you detect these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely improve, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your general health not just your hearing.

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